Dominick Reyes vs Jiří Procházka Preview and Prediction -5/1/21
Dominick Reyes (12-2-0) vs Jiří Procházka (27-3-1)
Dominick Reyes takes on former Rizin champion Jiří Procházka in the main event slot Saturday night. This fight promises to deliver! Out of the combined 45 fights between the two, only 6 of those fights have gone the distance.
Dominick Reyes was 6 and 0 in the UFC (12-0 overall) when he got his title shot against Jon Jones in the beginning of last year. He lost a very close fight but the majority of media outlets scored the fight in favor of Reyes. After Jones vacated, the UFC gave Reyes a crack at the belt again. This time against Polish powerhouse, Jan Blachowicz, for the vacant strap. Unfortunately for Reyes, he got to feel the aforementioned Polish power and suffered his first career knockout defeat.
Jiří Procházka has a staggering 24 wins by KO/TKO. He is a fantastic pickup by the UFC, not just because of that ridiculous finishing power, but because he’s entertaining as hell. The fighter from Czech Republic has crazy rhythm, sudden jerky awkward attacks, high pressure, the ability to get hurt but win, obvious power/speed, and is calm as can be. When making his debut against Oezdemir, the big stage sure didn’t phase him since he was routinely showboating, running away at various points, never raising his hands to his head for defense, and still dispatched a top 10 game opponent in Oezdemir.
How They Match Up
Hilariously opposite. Reyes is a counter punching technician and Procházka is an improvising wild man. On paper that reads like the fight is completely tailored for Reyes to score the KO on the counter. And that very well may happen. But sometimes that technical counter punching edge is nullified against unconventional strikers. Reyes’s entire game is based on timing his opponent and I think that is going to be incredibly difficult here. We also don’t know how Reyes will handle his first KO defeat of his career; he may be even more unwilling to pull the trigger. If he stays at range then Procházka can rack up points with his kicking game which is also pretty lethal.
Procházka has been stunned and KO’d before so it’s not out of the question that Reyes can get the finish. However, the success Jones and Blachowicz had while blitzing Reyes, the tendency for Reyes to let his opponent control the mid range, and Procházka reach advantage are all factors here that has me leaning toward the Czechoslovakian.